Bryan Ferry has a new album out called Avonmore. The album sounds like somewhere in between Roxy Music’s Avalon and his 80′s output, however it does feature enough modern touches to no be stuck in the past. I have always liked Bryan Ferry, from his early Roxy Music days until now. Although I don’t think anyone thinks Bryan Ferry sings as well as Bryan Ferry does, which is actually part of his charm, his voice has always been distinctive enough to be interesting to me as a listener.
I know that there are some of you who probably view his music as too slick, but if you think of music as being visual it has the ability to create it’s own world. I can’t help but think of some kind of futuristic film noir when I put one of his records on. His music would fit perfectly in the Alan Rudolph film Trouble in Mind. Even his lesser songs have interesting textures and atmosphere. He has consistently done his own thing outside of the trends of the day. Even during the glam era, Roxy Music were much stranger than most of the competition. Their album For Your Pleasure is a beautifully unique oddity.
If you are someone that likes latter period Roxy Music, or his early solo career, then this album will please you. He is still out there painting his own universe, for which I am grateful.
You will find yourself going down some strange rabbit holes when time allows. French singer Francoise Hardy in 1965. I don’t understand a word of it, but it is beautiful.
Weezer have a new album out. (It actually came out last month, but I’m only just getting around to listening to it.) It is called Everything Will Be Alright in the End and it is the first produced by Rick Ocasek, of Cars fame, since The Green Album. This actually may be their best record since The Green Album, and actually since Pinkerton. I actually like most of their records, though I agree with most people that their first two records are their best. Weezer are one of those bands that does things that I normally wouldn’t like, like making pop culture references in the lyrics, but are so good at what they do that I don’t care. Rivers Cuomo is a melodic genius and this new album is front to back great melodies. The production by Ocasek is also top notch. The guitars have that same quality to them that they do on their first and third albums. They are heavy, but they have so much texture to them that they are actually beautiful a good deal of the time. Each guitar is like a little painting you can get lost in. If you are a fan of Weezer you will definitely like this album. If you are not, but like rock n roll with astounding pop melodies, then you should check them out as well.
Billy Idol has a new record out. A band I’ve really come to like over the last year is Idol’s first band Generation X. At the time they existed they were accused as not being authentic, but the music speaks for itself. Bob “Derwood” Andrews guitar playing is especially fantastic. Also check out Andrews and his band Empire, who were only around briefly in the wake of Generation X, but influenced a great deal of the Washington D.C. punk and post-punk scene.
Tomorrow the Shinyribs band is going into the studio to record a song for an upcoming Ted Hawkins tribute record. If you don’t know Ted Hawkins he is an absolutely amazing soul singer. His first album, Watch Your Step, is especially breathtaking. He had it all: He had an incredible singing voice that was like Sam Cooke with more grit, he wrote uniquely interesting and personal songs, and he wrote beautiful uplifting melodies. He could convey complex intense emotions, often with nothing more than his voice and guitar. I’ve never seen anyone that has heard his records not like them. He is one of the great largely unknown artists of this country. Above is one of my favorite songs by him.
Kids were sent from heaven inside to lead you to the future
Wrap their eyes in blindfolds and still they’ll find their way
Blind their lives with pills and lies and still they find their vision
And soon they’ll leave you to your yesterday
And they’ll sing goodbye stars of Hitler
And goodbye bankers’ trust
Aquarius is shining and the sun is one of us
And me I don’t wanna go to the moon
I’m gonna leave that moon alone
I just want to dance with the Rosebud Sioux this summer
Yes, yes, yes
The media is saturated but the sweetgrass still grows tall
And Jesse John Blackbear talks to God in Cleveland, O-hi-yo
And Washington is joking but the Navajos are not
And the Senecas just arrived in Arizona.
I talked to seven congressmen, their ears were filled with gold
That their grandfathers had stolen out of the Black Hills
But it really doesn’t matter ’cause their children hear me well
And they will dream the dream my Mother sends to them.
Well I am on a Buffy Sainte-Marie kick again, I thought I would post this song, Generation. This is from a collection of hers called The Pathfinder. She is a warrior for peace and justice.
Off to rehearsal and canvassing I go. In the meantime, a song from one of the greatest metal albums of all time: Black Sabbath’s Sweet Leaf from their album Masters of Reality. Starting with a cough from Ozzy Osbourne this track is the very definition of stoner metal. Fly high and free today and don’t let the bastards get you down!